My current writing location is the most comfortable I have been in for several weeks. I am no longer contorted on a lower bunk in an eight bed mixed dorm, and I could not be more pleased!
Of course, I shouldn't grumble too much about hostels. I've been able to keep a roof over my head, had a mattress to sleep on, and an area in which I could keep myself clean, for which I am actually very thankful.
But now, I live in an apartment, and will do for the next 4 weeks. I've previously touched on my concerns that I will struggle to keep myself occupied for a month with no job, but I must persevere...
This week I have applied for an Australian Tax File Number so that when I'm being paid to work, the Aussie government can take some of my money. I have also signed up to Medicare; Australia's NHS equivalent. Both the TFN and Medicare Card will take up to four weeks to arrive so I require a 'permanent' address at which to receive them.
Another thing I have done this week is get out with my camera! Yep, I've actually got some pictures to share with you, and they're not damaged cars!
It has occurred to me that I am currently residing in the suburbs of Melbourne. I haven't as yet been to the CBD (Central Business District; City Centre), and having not used public transport a great deal yet I have made a point of wandering down different streets to get a feel for what "The 'Burbs" are like. This means that finally, I'm ready to share a bit of Melbourne with you!
I won't bore you with all the gory details about where and when I took these photos, I shall just present them with a few words where necessary. All the shots were taken on my walk from the hostel I was staying at in St. Kilda, to the nearest Medicare Centre about 3km away in Prahran.
Firstly, lets take a look at some of the local streets, and the shops that are present there. Places like The Local
And Video Vision, which I worry will soon be struggling after the recent Australian launch of Netflix.
I didn't go inside either of these places, I just liked the look of their store fronts. They were some of the more aesthetic looking businesses, although there are numerous other cafes, bars, pubs, ice-cream/frozen yogurt places that are all very popular.
The Cafe's are especially prevalent, I've sampled a few (Galleon, Finn Cafe, and Beaver's Tail Social Club). They all seem to have a rather hipster feel to them, although this (strangely) is not a bad thing. I would describe the food they serve as gastro-breakfast (new word), it's well presented, made with good quality local ingredients, and darn tasty. And fairly affordable!
I promised you a post with no damaged cars. But that doesn't mean I can't show you non-damaged cars. There are a large quantity of vintage American style vehicles around the place. Have a look at this gorgeous motor.
Not one to miss out on humorous findings of a visual nature, I'd like to take this moment to prove to you that I am actually in Upside Down Land.
Crossing the road is an interesting affair too. Mostly, pedestrian crossings seem to be automated; they'll eventually change to green, allowing you to cross (sometimes with traffic still allowed to go past that must give way to "peds" when necessary). Despite the automation however, all the crossings have buttons to push. I found one that was much more pleasing to the eye than the usual ones.
As a sort of brief interlude, here's a photo of a building that displayed a mural that really does seem to describe Melbourne in one very simple equation.
Walking along the residential areas of Melbourne's suburbs is an oddly refreshing experience. I'm used to big blocks of flats and apartments, crammed together on small streets. Here in Melbourne they do have apartment blocks, but they're spaced out between normal houses. And the streets are so wide!
There's a lot of street art in Melbourne too. I haven't seen any of the stuff that's in the centre (where the best bits are apparently) but here's a piece done at the base of an apartment block as a little taster. I'm planning to photograph more graffiti and do a whole post about the street art.
One thing that has stuck out to me about the buildings in the Melbourne suburbs, the more recently built anyway, is that there are a lot of clean lines and pleasing font work on labels. The detail even goes down to the mail boxes.
I've mentioned Albert Park before on this here blog thing before, but having walked around it again the other day I struggled to get many great pictures. This could be because there aren't any good pictures to be taken (I doubt this very much), that my camera isn't suited to the kind of shots I'd like to take (possible), or that I just haven't figured out how best to capture it yet (most likely). Nevertheless, I did snap this shot of a boat sailing on the lake.
And upon exiting the park I found one final thing for now. Melbourne has Boris Bikes!
Having no relation to Boris Johnson though, they're actually known as Melbourne Bike Share.
That's it for now. I'll hopefully be getting out and about on the streets of Melbourne with the camera a bit more in the near future.